Cold weather coops

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Anny, May 1, 2008.

  1. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    Who here lives in a cold weather area, I live in Michigan and we have LOOOOOnnnnnnnnnng cold winters. I want to build a small coop, for about 2-4 chickens. How do you insulate your coop in the winter?

    I would like to have no power in my coop if at all possible...would it be possible in michigan? Or will they need a heat lamp?
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I live in Central WI and were adding insulation (those pink foam board insulation) or maybe the cheap fiberglass rolled stuff....but no electric but we are running a simple extension cord out for the heat lamp just in case. I would be interested to see what others say about this. We are going to be starting our coop very soon.
  3. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    I think you are going to need heat. I run an extension cord to mine. I had insulated and plastic and heated it but mine still got cold last winter. Well I didnt do a very good job so I gutted the whole thing and will be putting foam in and plastic towards the bird part as a vapor barrier and some heat source but I am still going to use extension cord.
  4. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    We use pink fiberglass batts, covered it with 1/4" luan plywood to keep the chickens out of it. We also ran electric and I have a heat lamp plugged into a thermostat plug so the lamp comes on @ around 35 degrees & goes off @ 45 degrees. We also used recycled double pane windows on the south side of the coop (shaded by trees in the summer). The heat lamp rarely came on this winter.
  5. Kristi912

    Kristi912 In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    I'm from Indiana our winters usually get pretty cold too in January and February. This winter will be our first for chickens. Our coop is not insulated but we will be running a heat lamp out there though. We already run one out to our rabbits and they seem to stay nice and toasty, of course they have fur.
  6. we have a 16 foot by 20 foot coop that is insulated with regular rolled insulation and we keep a milk house heater in there all winter and it only got below freezing one night...
  7. Anny

    Anny Songster

    Apr 24, 2008
    Detroit Michigan
    Does any one have pictures of their insulted coop?
  8. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    I live in upstate new york, and have NO insulation! No heat either unless the thermometer dipped below 20, then I stuck a heat lamp in the light socket. It didnt' do much, just raised the temp about ten degrees. It will give you peace of mind to have an extension cord running out there on the very coldest nights.

    My chickens were fine. The rooster got a touch of frostbite on his comb (though his comb has recovered and is good as new now), and some cold-metal-feeder touching wet comb issues (a couple bloody comb-tips). I had a whole bale of straw in an 8X8 shed; that certainly retained some heat (though I had trouble keeping it dry during thaws).

    if I were you, I'd get four rather than two. They keep each other warm. And the more chickens, the better... [​IMG]
  9. NukeLDO

    NukeLDO Hatching

    May 5, 2007
    Acton, ME
    We live in Maine, and definitely deal with long, cold winters, as well as snow (115" of the white stuff this year!). Our coop is not insulated, but all the cracks are sealed with expanding foam. We use the deep litter method and make sure they have fresh hay for bedding weekly. I run an extension cord out to a single 450 watt heat lamp on a timer set to come on a 3:30 AM and turn off at 7:30, so that they get a little heat during the coldest part of the night. If its one of those days that doesn't get above 0, we'll leave the heat lamp on. The extra light also keeps egg production up during the darkest part of winter. The chickens don't care for the snow too much, but the also hate staying cooped up, even in a covered run. The snow itself acts as an insulator as well. As long as I keep some of the gound plowed, they seem to do just fine.
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Anny, I live where it gets down below zero every Winter but not much colder. My coop has a total size of 7 1/2 feet by 7 feet but one-half of this is open air. The other half has siding and interior plywood walls on 2 by 4 studs. Fiberglass insulation is throughout - in walls, ceiling and floor.

    You can see pictures of the coop on my BYC page linked below.

    That 3 1/2' by 7 1/2' room has a 40 watt light bulb, 4 Black Australorp hens and 2 pigeons. The light bulb and the birds' warm bodies will keep water above freezing unless the outside temperatures drop into the single digits.

    Last edited: May 1, 2008

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